LOUISA, Ky. – Kentucky Power on Monday outlined guidelines for the Kentucky Power Economic Advancement Program in 2018, the final year for the grants. The application period opened at the kickoff event and will continue until March 16.
In 2014, Kentucky Power committed to providing $1 million over five years to communities it serves and established the KEAP program to award $200,000 annually during that time period. The KEAP program was created as part of an agreement with the Kentucky Public Service Commission and others to provide economic development assistance to customers in Kentucky Power’s service area.
KEAP is specific to seven counties in Kentucky Power’s service area – Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Lawrence, Johnson, Martin and Morgan.
The grants must be used for programs and projects, such as job retention; expansion surveys; wage and benefit surveys; retaining and attracting new industries; and conducting special studies.
“We are working together to better our communities,” Kentucky Power President and COO Matt Satterwhite said. “One of the best ways I know how to do that is to invest in economic development. Our partnerships with our customers and our communities are helping to revitalize and rebuild our region.”
Previous KEAP grant winners have included the City of Paintsville, which received $100,000. The city used the money to upgrade the then-vacant Teays Branch site. Today that site is home to the Eastern Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI). The school also received $50,000 to retrain out-of-work coal miners for advanced manufacturing positions. eKAMI accepted its first class in 2017.
The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce received $92,000 to bring Quality Metal Roofing to Louisa and provide 11 full-time jobs. A second grant of $92,750 allowed Quality Metals to expand and hire more workers. Also, $100,000 went to the Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Park Authority. This grant was used for site development at East Park Industrial site, which will soon be home to Braidy Industries and its new aluminum mill. Another KEAP grant totaling $88,200 went to One East Kentucky to bring Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance and 15 jobs to the Big Sandy Regional Airport in Martin County.
The KEAP program is separate from the Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants (K-PEGG) program, which is open to all 20 counties served by Kentucky Power. K-PEGG is funded by shareholders and commercial and industrial customers through the Kentucky Power Economic Development surcharge. Commercial and industrial customers pay $1 a month, which is matched by shareholders. This year, the program will generate nearly $750,000 to reinvest in eastern Kentucky to attract industry and jobs. K-PEGG has a rolling deadline. Application are accepted all year. Grant applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of Kentucky Power employees and representatives from the Kentucky Association of Economic Development and Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet. KEAP and K-PEGG criteria and applications are posted at www.kentuckypower.com/development.
Kentucky Power, based in Ashland, serves 168,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties.